Few trades in recent NFL history have immediately worked out like the Russell Wilson trade has for the Seattle Seahawks, who shipped away their franchise quarterback for a bounty of draft picks and somehow ended up getting better.
The final pick from that trade was made on Friday in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft when the Seahawks selected Auburn linebacker Derick Hall at 37th overall.
Given Wilson's significant step back in play last season, which saw head coach Nathaniel Hackett get fired after less than one full season, the Seahawks were already sitting pretty. Geno Smith, since signed to a big-time extension, turned out to be a perfect replacement for Wilson and led Seattle to a 9-8 record and playoff berth, while the Broncos went 5-12.
For posterity's sake, though, it helps to look at just how much Denver ended up giving up for Wilson.
The full Seahawks-Broncos Russell Wilson trade
Quarterback Russell Wilson
2022 fourth-round pick (Iowa State defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike, 116th overall)
Quarterback Drew Lock
Tight end Noah Fant
Defensive end Shelby Harris
2022 first-round pick (Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross, ninth overall)
2022 second-round pick (Minnesota defensive end Boye Mafe, 40th overall)
2022 fifth-round pick (Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith, 158th overall)
2023 first-round pick (Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon, fifth overall)
2023 second-round pick (Auburn linebacker Derick Hall, 37th overall)
Some of those players are obviously more valuable than others. Lock didn't see a single snap last season after losing the quarterback battle to Smith and falling to backup duty, while Harris posted two sacks and has since hit free agency.
Fant was basically what he was in Denver, a somewhat disappointing former first-round pick who posted 486 receiving yards in his first season with Seattle.
Cross was fine as a rookie, starting all 17 games and finishing 54th among 81 offensive tackles in Pro Football Focus' rankings. Still only 22 years old, he has plenty of time to get better. Mafe had 41 combined tackles and three sacks.
Witherspoon might end up being the best player of the entire group, as he is entering Seattle with plenty of hype as the top cornerback in his class and a possible heir to the Legion of Boom legacy.
Of course, the punch line here is that all of these players could wash out of the NFL within a few years and the trade still would have been worth it for the Seahawks, simply by virtue of avoiding paying Wilson the monster five-year, $245 million contract he signed with the Broncos after the trade. That deal is already looking like one of the worst contracts in NFL history.
Getting all those players is still nice, though. The Seahawks also added Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba with their natural first-rounder at 19th overall.